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New drugs money will make a difference



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ADCA Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia

NB. Embargoed until Monday 16.3.98, 10.00am

New drugs money will make a difference The announcement by the Prime Minister that new funding is to be made available to address drug problems has been welcomed by Australia's peak national non government

organisation representing the alcohol and other drugs field.

Speaking from Brisbane at the announcement of the Prime Minister's new initiative, Mr David Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) said; “We are delighted that the Prime Minister has committed his government to providing more money for treatment, information provision, research and campaigns

on illicit drug issues. This money will mean that more people will be aware of illicit drug issues, and people experiencing drug problems will have better access to treatment and other services. This is very good news, not just for the Australian drugs field, but for the Australian community as a whole."

Mr Crosbie argued that since 1985 there had been a slight reduction in total Federal government expenditure through the National Drug Strategy. This latest announcement of approximately $50 million extra for prevention and treatment initiatives represents a 50% increase in Commonwealth funding. Combined with the previous Tough on Drugs initiatives, the total amount of Commonwealth money committed to funding treatment and prevention of

drug problems has almost doubled in less than 12 months.

In praising the new initiatives, Mr Crosbie said, “I think the Australian alcohol and other drugs field is fairly cynical about political rhetoric. We are used to public statements of concern about drug problems, but come budget time, few governments actually make any real commitments. This government has done something no Federal government has done in the last ten years - back up their expressions of concern with

significant expenditure measures in areas of real need."

Mr Crosbie suggested the Prime Minister’s new initiatives in the treatment and prevention areas would be effective, particularly if the Australian community became actively involved in supporting local initiatives to reduce drug problems. “With the support of local communities, / believe this new package will make a difference and reduce drug problems in Australia.”

David Crosbie (06) 281 0686 BH

Chief Executive Officer (06) 258 1516 AH

16.3.98 0419 62 4420 AH

First floor, 17 Napier Close, Deakin, ACT 2600 · PO Box 269, W oden, ACT 2606 Phone: (06) 281 0686 Fax: (06) 281 0995 Email: adca@ adca.org.au ACN: 008 455 525

PTC

NB. Embargoed until Monday 16.3.98, 10.00am

New National Council on Drugs: linking drug policy to the community

Mr David Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) has today commended the Prime Minister and his government on the establishment of a new National Council on Drugs.

Speaking from a special service in Brisbane where the Prime Minister announced the new council, Mr Crosbie said “It’s about time we had a national drug policy making body that actually involves people with real knowledge and experience of drug problems. Most of the existing drug policy committees are dominated by senior government officials, many of whom have very limited knowledge of, or expertise in drug issues.

I am delighted to see community treatment and prevention agencies, parents, users, peak bodies, researchers, doctors, aboriginal agencies, church groups and school principals all represented on this new National Council on Drugs.

People who live and work to reduce drug problems at a community level should have a real say in how governments develop drug policy. I hope the new National Council on Drugs will be given a real opportunity to have their views incorporated into government policy and funding decisions.”

The new NCD will have a broad role providing policy advice across all drugs to the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy and to the Prime Minister. One of its initial priority areas will be to ensure the Tough on Drugs package is implemented over the next few months.

Mr Crosbie said “ADCA looks forward to working with the NCD to help make a

difference and reduce the devastating social, economic and health impact of drug misuse on the lives of Australians.”

David Crosbie Chief Executive Officer 16.3.98

(06) 281 0686 BH (06) 258 1516 AH 0419 62 4420 AH